State Update

Dallas City Council Discusses Banning Fluoridated Water

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The Dallas City Council is considering ending the practice of adding fluoride to it community water system as a way to save millions of dollars. Dallas has been fluoridating its water for almost 50 years. 

Specifically, members of the Dallas City Council are considering whether to renew a three-year contract with a water treatment company that provides the city’s water supply with fluoride. The contract is set to expire January 1, 2015, and is worth approximately $1.8 million.  

During a Dallas City Council Meeting on April 23, an anti-fluoride activist found an ally in Dallas City Council Member Sheffie Kadane. Several other City Council Members expressed an interest in studying the need and expense of community water fluoridation. However, during a City Council Briefing meeting on May 7, the issue of ending community water fluoridation in Dallas came up again during the open mic portion of the briefing. City Council Member Jennifer Staubach Gates was quite vocal during the meeting, saying that she would vigorously defend fluoridated water. She told the audience she grew up in a community that did not have fluoride in its water and as a result she took fluoride supplements. She went on to say that she did not want the citizens of Dallas to have to go through the process of buying fluoride supplements like she did.

According to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 210 million Americans drink from a fluoridated water supply, including approximately 20 million Texans. If Dallas were to stop fluoridating its water, it would become the largest city in the United States to have non-fluoridated water, surpassing Portland, OR, and Tucson, AZ. 

On May 27, the Dallas City Council Quality of Life & Environment Committee received a briefing from Jody Puckett, the Director of the Dallas Water Utilities Department. Ms. Puckett briefed the Committee on the history, purpose, sources and costs/benefits of community water fluoridation in Dallas. Click here to view the briefing materials presented to the Committee.